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* Dhammika Perera not to take oaths as SLPP MP until SC’s decision on petitions filed challenging his appointment
Mon, Jun 20, 2022, 11:14 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

June 20, Colombo: Businessman Dhammika Perera today promised to the Supreme Court that he will not be sworn in as a Member of Parliament or a Minister until the court makes a decision on the fundamental rights petitions filed challenging his appointment.

A three-judge bench comprising Justices Priyantha Jayawardena, Yasantha Kodagoda and Arjuna Obeysekera today heard fundamental rights petitions filed seeking annulment of the decision to appoint Dhammika Perera as a Member of Parliament.

A writ petition and four fundamental rights petitions have been filed challenging the appointment of businessman Dhammika Perera to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna National List MP Basil Rajapaksa.

President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva, who appeared for Dhammika Perera at the end of the consideration of the petitions, made the announcement, that his client will not take oath until the court’s decision.

Thereafter further consideration of the petitions was adjourned till tomorrow.

When the petition was called today, the State Counsel who appeared for the Attorney General stated that she did not know whether the Commissioner of Elections, the Secretary General of Parliament and the Secretary to the President who were named as respondents in the petitions had received notices regarding these petitions.

MA Sumanthiran, PC, appearing for the petition filed by the Center for Policy Alternatives and its Executive Director Pakyasothy Saravanamuttu, said there have been instances in the history of the Supreme Court where the Attorney General was given until noon to seek the necessary advice on a petition filed in the morning and the petition was heard on the same day and finally an injunction was issued.

President’s Counsel Sumanthiran stated that the same could be done regarding these petitions.

He also requested the court not to postpone the consideration of the petitions as this is a matter of urgency and important to the people.

Counsel for the petitioners also pointed out that these petitions should be considered without delay as this is a matter of national importance.

The Sri Lanka Podujana Permuna, its General Secretary Attorney Sagara Kariyawasam, the Commissioner of Elections, the Secretary General of Parliament, the Secretary to the President and the Attorney General have been named as respondents in these petitions.

The petitioners have pointed out to the court that when a seat from the National List becomes vacant in Parliament, only a person whose name is included in the nominations submitted for the districts in the general election or who is named in the National List will be able to fill the vacancy.

Mr. Dhammika Perera’s name was not on the list submitted by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna [SLPP] to the Election Commission under Article 99A of the Constitution or in any nomination paper submitted in respect of any electoral district by the SLPP for the General Election held in 2020.

 

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